TTUHSC School of Medicine
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Cell Physiology & Molecular Biophysics

Hongjun Liang, Ph.D. 

liangs photo

Associate Professor of Cell Physiology & Molecular Biophysics 

Adjunct faculty of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Texas Tech University


2005 Ph.D. - University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign 

1998 M.S. - Institute of Chemistry, the Chinese Academy of Science

  Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics
  Center for Membrane Protein Research
  Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  3601 4th Street, STOP 6551
  Lubbock, Texas 79430
  Office Phone: (806) 743-1463
  Office room: 5A169
  FAX: (806) 743-1512

Research Interests

Our research interest is in membrane biophysics and bioengineering, with a particular focus on understanding and controlling the recognition and transport across nanoscale membrane boundaries. Our long-term goal is to bridge biology with synthetic systems via materials discovery. We design synthetic materials to partake in live processes, and adapt biological functions to be used under a broad range of harsher, non-biological conditions. Examples of our current research projects include membrane protein functions in synthetic proteomembranes; membrane-active antimicrobials and biofilm mitigation; and nanoparticle-based, membrane-targeting theranostic platforms. Aided by a large array of structural and functional characterization tools including synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering, we develop new biological, chemical, and engineering approaches to understand membrane biophysics and exploit membrane-based bionanotechnology.

Positions Open: The Liang Lab has opening positions for graduate student and postdoc in the areas of membrane biophysics and bioengineering. Inquiries welcome.  

Selected Publication

  1. Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, L.J. Kuang, H.R. Ma, and H.J. Liang, "Hydrophilic phage-mimicking membrane active antimicrobials reveal nanostructure-dependent activity and selectivity", ACS Infect. Dis., 3, 676-687 (2017) (link) Also selected as the ACS Editor's Choice Article; Cover Story; and highlighted on C&EN, "Polymer nanoparticles mimic bacteriophages"
  2. M.C. Fiori, Y.J. Jiang, G.A. Altenberg, and H.J. Liang, "Polymer-encased nanodiscs with improved buffer compatibility", Sci. Rep., 7, 7432 (2017) (link)
  3. S.L. Wang, C.  Ing, S. Emami, Y.J. Jiang, H.J. Liang, R.  Pomès, L.  Brown, and V. Ladizhansky, “Structure and dynamics of extracellular loops in human Aquaporin-1 from solid-state NMR and molecular dynamics”, J. Phys. Chem. B 120(37), 9887-9902 (2016). (link)
  4. U. Chawla, Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, L.J. Kuang, S. M. D. C. Perera, M. F. Brown, and H.J. Liang, “A usual G-protein-coupled receptor in unusual membranes”. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55(2), 588-592 (2016). (link)
  5. M. Ward, S.L. Wang, I. Hung, P.L. Gor’kov, Y.J. Jiang, H.J. Liang, L. Brown, and V. Ladizhansky, “In situ structural studies of Anabaena Sensory Rhodopsin in the E. coli Inner Membrane”, Biophys. J., 108, 1683-1696 (2015). (link) Also featured in New and Notable, "A Solid View of Membrane Proteins In Situ"
  6. L.J. Kuang, T.L. Olson, S. Lin, M. Flores, Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, J.C. Williams, J.P. Allen, and H.J. Liang, “Interface for light–driven electron transfer by photosynthetic complexes across block copolymer membranes”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5, 787-791 (2014). (link)
  7. L.J. Kuang, D.A. Fernandes, M. O’Halloran, W. Zheng, Y.J. Jiang, V. Ladizhansky, L.S. Brown, and H.J. Liang, ““Frozen” block copolymer nanomembranes with light-driven proton pumping performance”, ACS Nano, 8(1), 537-545 (2014). (link)
  8. A.A. Onasoga-Jarvis, T.J. Puls, S.K. O'Brien, L.J. Kuang, H.J. Liang, and K.B. Neeves, “Thrombin generation and fibrin formation under flow on biomimetic tissue factor rich surfaces”, J. Thromb. Haemost., 12 (3), 373-382 (2014). (link)
  9. J. Cao; X. Pan, W. Huang, Y. Wang, D. Hua, X. Zhu, H.J. Liang "Synthesis of cationic poly(4-vinylpyridine)-functionalized colloidal particles by emulsion polymerization with reactive block copolymer for protein adsorption"; J. Coll. Inter. Sci., 381, 137-142 (2012). (link)
  10. X. Pan, J. Cao, Y. Wang, W. Huang, D. Hua, X. Zhu, H.J. Liang "Synthesis of surface-functionalized polystyrene sub-micron spheres using novel amphiphilic comonomer"; Polymer, 53, 3508-3513 (2012). (link)
  11. D.B. Hua, L.J. Kuang, and H.J. Liang, “Self-directed reconstitution of proteorhodopsin with amphiphilic block copolymers induces the formation of hierarchically ordered proteopolymer membrane arrays”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 2354-2357 (2011). (link)
  12. D.B. Hua, J.L. Jiang, L.J. Kuang, J. Jiang, W. Zheng, and H.J. Liang, “Smart chitosan-based stimuli-responsive nanocarriers for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic pharmaceuticals”, Macromolecules, 44, 1298-1302 (2011). (link)
  13. Q. H. Shi, H.J. Liang, D. Feng, J. F. Wang, and G. D. Stucky, “Porous carbon and carbon/metal oxide microfibers with well-controlled pore structure and interface”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 5034-5035 (2008). (link) Also highlighted on C&EN, "Silica and ice template creates holey microfibers".
  14. H.J. Liang, G. Whited, C. Nguyen, A. Okerlund, and G. D. Stucky, “Inherently tunable electrostatic assembly of membrane proteins”, Nano Lett.,  8, 333-339 (2008). (link)
  15. H.J. Liang, G. Whited, C. Nguyen, and G. D. Stucky, “The directed cooperative assembly of proteorhodopsin into 2D and 3D polarized arrays”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 104, 8212-8217 (2007). (link)